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Helping People Live Healthier Lives

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April 8, 2011

Helping pregnant women and children avoid tobacco exposure, providing no-cost dental services to uninsured adults and helping Southeast San Diego residents find access to healthy foods.

These are a few of the exceptional achievements that earned 10 local organizations and individuals the distinction of being one of this year’s Public Health Champions. The awards are presented annually by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).  (Complete list below).

“These are exceptional organizations and individuals that are helping people live healthier lives,” said Chairman Bill Horn, County of San Diego Board of Supervisors. “Their extraordinary achievements support the County’s efforts to improve San Diegans’ health and quality of life.”

Video: Health Leaders Recognized

Created 10 years ago, the Public Health Champion Awards recognize the role of public/private partnerships in advancing optimal health and wellness in the region’s diverse populations, a goal of the County's "Live Well, San Diego!” initiative.

“Encouraging access to healthy foods, regular physical activity, and not smoking are key to reducing chronic disease,” said Nick Macchione, HHSA Director. “The commitment and dedication of this year’s honorees to improve the health and safety of local residents through injury prevention and education make them true Public Health Champions.” 

This year’s awards also reflect achievements related to the 2011 National Public Health Week (April 4-10, 2011) theme, Safety is No Accident: Live Injury Free, San Diego.

“We are proud to be recognizing these individuals and organizations who have dedicated much of their lives to educating our residents about making healthier lifestyle choices and creating a safe environment,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H, County Public Health Officer. “They are helping prevent disease, injury and disability in our communities.”


Theme Award 

San Diego Medical Services, Community Outreach Team

San Diego Medical Services’ Community Outreach Team provides community outreach trainings, clinics and events focused on reducing injuries and preventing accidents.

Individual Award 

Irvin Silverstein, D.D.S., Dental Director, UCSD Student-Run Free Dental Clinic Project

Dr. Silverstein administers the UCSD Student-Run Free Dental Clinic Project, which provides quality, restorative, no-cost dental care to uninsured adults in the county.

Organization Award: 

Trilateral Partnership (Rady Children’s Hospital, Scripps and Sharp HealthCare)

Trilateral Partnership administers the Partnership for Smoke-Free Families Program, a comprehensive program designed to reduce tobacco smoke exposure among pregnant women and young children.                                 

Regional Awards

Kimberley Bell, D.P.T.

Dr. Bell is the Director of Safe Strides Program, Gentiva Health Services, as well as chair of the San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force. Bell’s leadership and hard work has helped increase awareness of the issues of fall and injury prevention. 

N. Diane Moss

Moss is the Director of Project New Village, which serves as a community resource for promoting health and wellbeing of residents. Moss established the People’s Produce Project to improve access to affordable health food options in Southeastern San Diego.

Darin Curtis

Curtis, a physical education teacher at Tierra del Sol Middle School, was recently named a San Diego Teacher of the Year and is one of five California Teachers of the Year. Curtis is a strong promoter of physical fitness, which can positively impact academic achievement.

Jeanne Salvadori, R.N., B.S.N., M.Ed.

Salvadori is a School Nursing Services Program Specialist at the San Diego County Office of Education. Salvadori works on the development and implementation of school health programs, including the automated external defibrillator program and drug and violence prevention programs.

Rosemary Eshelman

Eshelman is the Student Support Services Specialist at Carlsbad Unified School District. Eshelman helps to develop and manage multiple student health programs, including programs that address school dropouts among Latino males, substance abuse and the importance of making good lifestyle choices.

Randy Garcia

Garcia is the Director of Pupil Services at the Escondido Union School District. In his roles as director, Garcia has implemented numerous programs and services on youth violence prevention and school safety in Escondido.

Institute for Public Strategies (IPS)

IPS helps to increase awareness of public health and safety for South Region residents via programs addressing issues such as alcohol and drug abuse, childhood obesity, clean water and the reduction of crime and violence.